Donald Trump v. The Federal Judiciary

President Trump's latest attack on the Federal Judiciary prompted a rare rebuke from the Chief Justice of the United States.

On Wednesday, Chief Justice Roberts took the unusual step of responding to comments that President Trump made attacking the Federal Judiciary:

WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. defended the independence and integrity of the federal judiciary on Wednesday, issuing a statement rebuking President Trump’s criticism of a judge who had ruled against the administration’s asylum policy.

The chief justice seemed particularly offended by Mr. Trump’s assertion that Judge Jon S. Tigar, of the United States District Court in San Francisco, was “an Obama judge.”

Chief Justice Roberts said that was a profound misunderstanding of the judicial role.

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” he said in a statement. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”

Chief Justice Roberts issued his statement in response to a request for comment from The Associated Press about Mr. Trump’s remarks on Tuesday concerning the asylum ruling, which ordered the administration to resume accepting asylum claims from migrants no matter where or how they entered the United States.

More from The Washington Post:

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. directed a rare and pointed shot at President Trump Wednesday, defending the federal judiciary in the wake of Trump’s criticism of an “Obama judge” who ruled against the administration’s attempt to bar migrants who cross the border illegally from seeking asylum.

“We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said in a statement released by the court’s public information office. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”

Delivered on the eve of Thanksgiving, Roberts added: “That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”

Supreme Court justices, and the chief in particular, almost never issue statements on news events. So it appeared Roberts was eager to counter Trump’s criticism when asked to comment by the Associated Press. The statement did not mention the president.

The chief justice is an aggressive defender of the judiciary, and has frequently expressed worries about attacks on its impartiality, whether they come from the left or the right. He had made it clear last month that he felt the recent partisan battle over the nomination of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh had cast a shadow on his own court.

At an event at the University of Minnesota just after Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Roberts sought to assure that the court served “one nation” and not “one party or one interest.”

“Our role is very clear: We are to interpret the Constitution and laws of the United States, and to ensure that the political branches act within them,” he said. “That job obviously requires independence from the political branches. The story of the Supreme Court would be very different without that sort of independence.”

The President’s remarks came as he was departing the White House for the Thanksgiving holiday on Tuesday in response to a question regarding the decision earlier this week by Federal District Court Judge Jon Tigar striking down the Administration’s efforts to place severe limits on the rights of migrants to seek asylum. In his ruling, Judge Tigar found that the Administration’s policy, which purported to limit legitimate asylum claims to those people who present themselves at a designated port of entry into the United States. Under Trump’s policy, persons already in the United States, whether legally or illegally, or who enter the United States anywhere other than a designated port of entry would be ineligible to seek asylum, violated Federal law. As Tigar notes in his opinion, the relevant statute provides that asylum can be claimed by anyone regardless of legal status, at any time, and regardless of whether or not they make the claim at the time they enter the country or at a later date. This is also reiterated by other statutes governing the asylum process as well as international treaties on the treatment of refugees to which the United States is a signatory. As a result, Judge Tigar found, the Trump Administration had exceeded the authority granted to it by Congress and the relevant law by seeking to limit asylum seekers to just one option in what is clearly an effort to discourage migrants from seeking asylum. Responding to that ruling, Trump went on to attack not just Judge Tigar ruling, but the entire Judiciary of the Ninth Circuit:

WASHINGTON — President Trump lashed out on Tuesday against the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, calling it a lawless disgrace and threatening unspecified retaliation.

“That’s not law,” he said of the court’s rulings. “Every case that gets filed in the Ninth Circuit we get beaten.”

“It’s a disgrace,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump’s remarks came after a federal trial judge ordered the administration to resume accepting asylum claims from migrants no matter where or how they entered the United States.

The ruling was issued by Judge Jon S. Tigar, of the United States District Court in San Francisco, and not by the Ninth Circuit itself, which hears appeals from that court and others in nine western states. The appeals court’s geographic jurisdiction is also sometimes called the Ninth Circuit.

“This was an Obama judge,” Mr. Trump said of Judge Tigar, who was indeed appointed by President Barack Obama.

Mr. Trump, who has suffered losses in courts across the nation, said he was frustrated by the ability of plaintiffs to file challenges to his administration’s policies in the Ninth Circuit.

It is true that plaintiffs who have a choice tend to file their lawsuits in courts they hope will rule in their favor. Plaintiffs challenging the Obama administration’s health care, immigration and other programs often filed their lawsuits in Texas before conservative judges. The State of Texas alone sued the Obama administration at least 48 times, according to a survey conducted by The Texas Tribune.

Mr. Trump said courts in the Ninth Circuit always ruled against his policies. “Everybody that wants to sue the United States, they file their case in the Ninth Circuit, and it means an automatic loss no matter what you do, no matter how good your case is,” he said.

That was an overstatement, though the administration’s track record in the Ninth Circuit has been poor. Just this month, a three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled that Mr. Trump could not rescind the Obama administration’s protections for some 700,000 “Dreamers,” young immigrants who were brought into the United States illegally as children

Also this month, a federal trial judge in Montana, which is part of the Ninth Circuit, blocked Mr. Trump’s decision to allow construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, saying the administration failed to present a “reasoned explanation” for the move and “simply discarded” the effect the project would have on climate change.

Mr. Trump pointed out on Tuesday that the Supreme Court in June had reversed a ruling from the Ninth Circuit blocking his order limiting travel from several predominantly Muslim nations. Mr. Trump vowed to win the asylum case in the Supreme Court, too.

The Ninth Circuit has a reputation for being frequently reversed by the justices, but its reversal rate is only a little higher than average and not as high as that of some other circuits.

Mr. Trump vowed to take steps to address his unhappiness with the court. “I’ll tell you what,” he said, “it’s not going to happen like this anymore.” But it was not clear what he proposed to do.

“The Ninth Circuit is really something we have to take a look at because it’s not fair,” he said. “People should not be allowed to immediately run to this very friendly circuit and file their case.”

The President had more to say on his Twitter feed in response to the Chief Justice:

For his part, David Post at The Volokh Conspiracy praises the Chief for his comments:

Nothing about the Trump presidency has been as disturbing as his unrelenting attack on the federal judiciary – starting all the way back at least as far as his comments during the campaign about the “Mexican judge” who was presiding over the Trump University lawsuit, up to his recent tirades against the 9th Circuit’s “Obama judges.” He is not the first President to get publicly angry at actions taken by the federal courts. But he is the first President to so relentlessly characterize judicial decision-making as an overtly partisan political act, where “Obama judges” issue their (politically-motivated) rulings – Boo-o-o! – and “Trump judges” issue their (politically-motivated) rulings – Ya-a-ay!. It’s all just politics, played out in a courtroom.

His words have real consequences, and the consequences here are very serious and very troubling, even frightening. If Americans come to believe that federal judges are nothing more than partisan politicians wearing robes, that there are Democratic judges issuing Democratic decisions and Republican judges issuing Republican decisions, we are one step away from a very frightening precipice, one where Democrats believe they are entitled to disregard Republican decisions and Republicans believe they are entitled to disregard Democratic decisions.

Judicial systems can crumble, leaving nothing but power and might, force and terror, as ruling principles; they have done so, repeatedly, throughout human history. We should perhaps accept Chief Justice Roberts’ invitation on this Thanksgiving day to be thankful that ours has not done so, and to speak out against, and resist, efforts to make it do so.

As we saw when he was a candidate, Trump has absolutely no inclination to refrain from attacking the legitimacy of the legal system. The most prominent example, of course, came in his attacks on the Federal District Court Judge who was presiding over the fraud lawsuits against him and his now defunct business venture “Trump University.” In those attacks, Trump referred to the Judge, Gonzalo Curiel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California as a “Mexican”notwithstanding the fact that he was born in Indiana, contended that his ‘Mexican heritage’ created some sort of conflict of interest, and claimed that Curiel was “biased” and “unfair.”  In retrospect, it’s clear that Trump’s attacks were related to Judge Curiel’s decision to authorize the release of documents related to the ongoing lawsuit, documents that clearly show the extent to which Trump’s so-called “University” was little more than a fraudulent marketing scheme. In reality, though, an examination of Judge Curiel’s rulings in the case demonstrated no evidence of the bias Trump allegedly.

As I noted back when Trump was still just a candidate, I made note of his obvious contempt for the Rule of Law:

Based both on his rhetoric and his actions, Donald Trump gives the impression of being a President who sees himself as  unconstrained by the law or the other branches of Government in the tradition of Jackson or Richard Nixon, both of whom set off Constitutional crises from which it took the nation years to recover. As in the case of those two previous Presidents, he would likely justify his actions by appealing to the same populist, anti-establishment rhetoric that has fueled his campaign from the start. The difference is that, this time, he would be President of the United States and his rhetoric would be tied to action that could do real damage to the Rule of Law and to the Constitution. Furthermore, unlike any of his predecessors, Trump seems to have command over a mob of supporters that would rush to his defense even when he was clearly wrong. This is why the arguments that equate Trump to the European far right, and even to fascists and authoritarians of the past, are completely on the mark. Either Donald Trump is lying to his supporters or he is the kind of man who cannot be trusted with political power even in a Constitutionally limited democratic republic. Under the circumstances, it would be foolish for anyone to believe that this is all a big con on Trump’s part, and much safer to assume that he quite simply cannot be trusted with political power.

His time in office has proven my assessment regarding how Trump would act have largely proven to be correct. Whether its the recent comments that I note above or his actions such as seeking to pressure James Comey and the heads of the intelligence agencies to end the investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, his decision to fire James Comey because of the Russia investigation, or his numerous attacks on his own Attorney General, Trump has demonstrated the same utter contempt for the rule of law that he did as a candidate. And he does it all with the seeming approval of his supporters and the vast majority of his fellow Republicans. In any other President, it would be a President. With this President, it’s just another day in office, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Given all of that, and his latest attack on the Ninth Circuit, which is not supported by the available evidence, it’s no wonder that Chief Justice Roberts chose to spoke out in the way that he did. In the thirteen years that he’s been in office, the Chief has shown that ideological differences aside, he cares deeply about the integrity of not just the Supreme Court but of the entire Federal Judiciary. While he has largely stayed quiet in the past when the President has attacked individual Judges such as Judge Curiel it’s obvious that this is an issue that has been on his mind for some time now. The fact that he spoke out now rather than sooner is likely just a function of Trump having finally reached the point where even the norm of a Federal Judge remaining quiet while one of the political branches attacked his brethren has finally reached a breaking point, Quite frankly, I don’t think it’s a good thing that Judges now feel the need to inject themselves into a political argument like this, but we’re dealing with a President who obviously does not care about the Constitution or Separation Of Powers. Someone needs to send him the message that enough is enough, and if Republicans on Capitol Hill aren’t going to do it then I suppose the Chief Justice of the United States will have to take up the task

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Law and the Courts, Politicians, Supreme Court, U.S. Constitution, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Kathy says:

    We know that when a Conservative says “freedom of religion,” they mean Christian supremacy (perhaps with tolerance enough not to harass people of other religions, except Islam). Now we’ve learned when they say “law and order,” they mean Might Makes Right, Or At Least It Should.

    The whole “movement” is a walking, talking, skulking illustration of why schools need to teach civics effectively.

    15
    1
  2. steve says:

    If Trump says anything at all that involves numbers or objective data, we should just assume he is lying.

    Steve

    10
  3. Kathy says:

    @steve:

    I assume he’s always lying. It saves time.

    13
  4. Cian says:

    And he does it all with the seeming approval of his supporters and the vast majority of his fellow Republicans.

    Exactly. The three pillars of democracy- rule of law, a free press and fair elections- are and have been under constant attack since and prior to Trumps election. If it were just Trump the damage would be bad but not fatal. Now, with the republican party deciding to join him in the destruction, American democracy is on life support. Whatever comes next, it won’t be good and it won’t end quickly.

  5. dmichael says:

    Sorry Doug, Scott Lemieux has it nailed: http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/11/we-are-all-part-of-the-same-hypocrisy. This late in the game furrowed brow from CJ Roberts is designed to cover the Supremes when they next validate Trump’s unlawful behavior.

    10
    1
  6. James Pearce says:

    …we are one step away from a very frightening precipice, one where Democrats believe they are entitled to disregard Republican decisions and Republicans believe they are entitled to disregard Democratic decisions.

    We may already be there. Part of the joy of living in all-blue CA or all-red TX is that you can rely on nullification efforts.

  7. Pylon says:

    @dmichael: and Trump is too stupid to realize this and might just end up alienating judges. And maybe even Roberts.

  8. Joe says:

    What dmichael is saying here is that he completely agrees with Trump. He, too, agrees that the judiciary is an entirely political branch. Unfortunately (and, I think, more often than not incorrectly) a lot of people think that judges are political actors. Especially federal judges, who are commonly identified in the press by who appointed them. People look with baited breath to see whether the judge who ruled “against” a political position was appointed by someone from that political team or someone on the other side. We give more credence to “pro-Democratic” rulings from Bush appointees and “pro-Republican” rulings from Obama appointees and less credence to the way we would expect a Bush/Obama appointee to rule.

    Of course, Trump does this on steroids and in a really whiny manner, but it is just as corrosive to the public discourse, no matter where it comes from, dmichael or the NYTimes or from Trump.

    2
    1
  9. gVOR08 says:

    Roberts very badly wants us to believe judges are nonpartisan, whether it’s true or not. If there are no Republican judges the Federalist Society has wasted an awful lot of money.

    12
    1
  10. Michael Reynolds says:

    Bush v. Gore. Yes, justices are partisan. Duh.

    11
    2
  11. Teve says:

    @gVOR08: Exactly. Trump is correct here. There are Obama judges vs Trump judges. Otherwise Mitch McConnell’s actions are nonsensical. Roberts is trying to maintain the beltway consensus lie.

  12. Kathy says:

    El Cheeto is incapable of criticizing someone, or expressing disagreement, without resorting to 1) personal attacks, 2) invective, and 3) making it a political matter.

    This is what’s so toxic about him, and how he’s deepening any divisions. It’s a matter of “Either you agree with us, or you’re our enemy.”

    The worst part, is that his base is fine with this.

    But it may yet come back and bite him. Consider what will happen when he has to give in and compromise with the Democrats, as they hold the House, and his base doesn’t like the result.

  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Teve:
    It’s ludicrous to pretend otherwise. Are we actually supposed to believe Republicans are voting their carefully-considered ideology? Some vague fealty to a constitutional theory? The same people who’ve blithely tossed aside everything they ever claimed to believe in to slaver after that pig in the White House? That’s why Kavanaugh, because he’s such a great constitutional scholar? That’s why Mitch McConnell stole a seat, violating every precedent? Because theory? Riiiight.

    Republican justices are picked to defend the rich and screw the poor, the black, the Muslim, the gay, the female and anyone else not white, male and Christian. A pretense of legality is required and that low bar obstructs some Republican efforts, but only some, and only for now.

    Roberts is a holdover from a slightly better day, but he won’t be able to go on pretending if Trump remains in power. The only hope is institutional culture, a defense of the court’s independence, but that will mean nothing to anyone Trump appoints. The arc of Republican history bends toward fascism.

    10
    2
  14. Franklin says:

    Just trying to keep track of Trump’s friends and enemies, feel free to help me out.

    Friends:
    Vladimir Putin
    Kim Jong Un

    Enemies:
    The Judiciary
    The Free Press
    Canada
    Everybody else (list is too long)

  15. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    Now we’ve learned when they say “law and order,” they mean Might Makes Right, Or At Least It Should.

    “Law and Order” (going back at least to Nixon) never meant anything other than “I’ll protect you from scary brown people.”

  16. Teve says:
  17. Teve says:

    @Franklin:

    Friends: Rodrigo Duterte

    Enemies: Navy SEAL who killed bin Laden

    it’s really sickening, isn’t it?

  18. Teve says:

    REPORTER: Mr. President, what are you most thankful for?

    TRUMP: “For having a great family & for having made a tremendous difference in this country. I’ve made a tremendous difference. This country is so much stronger now than it was when I took office”

    What a fucking POS.

    10
  19. Scott F. says:

    @Kathy:

    El Cheeto is incapable of criticizing someone, or expressing disagreement, without resorting to 1) personal attacks, 2) invective, and 3) making it a political matter.
    This is what’s so toxic about him…

    I don’t know that “toxic” is the right term. As others have noted, what has really upset Roberts is that Trump has whined out loud what should only be whispered in chambers. Roberts is following the same playbook as the NeverTrump-ers and GOP establishment types who are onboard for all things the Donald does except for his style. They are only pissed that Trump has given up their game.

    Trump has been god awful as president, but there may be some good that comes of his term in office. The curtain has been torn down for the Republican Party and its partisans. We can only hope the public will see what they truly stand for and that they will remember.

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Franklin: You forgot Duterte among the friends and while it is still early I’m going to say that Bolsinaro will join that esteemed group soon.

  21. Teve says:

    @Scott F.:

    Trump has been god awful as president, but there may be some good that comes of his term in office. The curtain has been torn down for the Republican Party and its partisans. We can only hope the public will see what they truly stand for and that they will remember.

    I think one of the biggest takeaways from trump is that conservative evangelicals are just about the shittiest collection of amoral scum who ever lived.

  22. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott F.: All well and good, but a narrow majority of “the public” may consist of people who are only offended by Trump not the GOP agenda, values, policies, and program. It may even be more than a narrow majority.

  23. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Did anyone catch Dennison’s Thanksgiving phone call with the Navy, in which he advocates for out of date steam powered technology, over electromagnetic catapults, on carriers? Absolutely astounding. He has the most beautiful brain.

  24. Kylopod says:

    @Scott F.:

    Trump has been god awful as president, but there may be some good that comes of his term in office. The curtain has been torn down for the Republican Party and its partisans.

    I’ve heard that argument before, I may have even made it from time to time. But so far, it seems the only real consequence of tearing that curtain down is simply to enable the racism and authoritarianism to come out in full force. However dishonest as it may have been, the hypocrisy of pre-Trump conservatives did serve as a restraint on their worst instincts.

  25. Teve says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    He complained at length that a new Navy ship was using electromagnetic catapults to propel planes off ships. He said steam was better and was incredulous the military would consider otherwise. “Would you go with steam or would you go with electromagnetic? Because steam is very reliable, and the electromagnetic, unfortunately, you have to be Albert Einstein to really work it properly,” he asked.

    “You have to be Albert Einstein to run the nuclear power plants that we have here, as well. But we’re doing that very well. I would go, sir, with electromagnetic,” the officer responded.

    “…You goddam special-needs chimpanzee.” the officer added, in his head.

  26. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    I’ll just say it: Einstein’s genius is highly underrated.

    Consider in the same year he published papers that 1) explained the photoelectric effect, 2) proved the existence of atoms and molecules (yes, as late as the early 1900s we weren’t sure), and 3) discovered special relativity. A few years later, he also discovered general relativity (one deals with motion, the other with gravitational fields, and they’re separate theories). That’s about four Nobel prizes for the price of one.

    Back on topic, steam sounds like a very outdated technology, but it’s not. Nuclear warships essentially run on steam engines that use uranium rather than coal to heat water. Ditto commercial nuclear reactors. And BTW, much the same goes for coal and oil fired electricity generating plants.

    On an aircraft carrier the reactor produces steam and electricity. Both can be used to power ship’s systems. It makes about the same sense to use steam catapults than electromagnetic ones, from an available energy point of view. I assume the newer electromagnetic systems offer advantages, but I can’t say for sure (if you doubt that people will invest real money in novelty for its own sake, look at the wreck called Windows 8*).

    In any case, El Cheeto seems troubled that the new system has shown the bugs and unexpected problems found in all new systems. No doubt he’s upset at the wireless telegraph and the horseless carriage as well.

    (*) I call it WINDOS, which stands for Windows 8 Is Not a Desktop Operating System.

    5
    2
  27. Scott F. says:

    @Kylopod:

    The midterm results renewed my faith somewhat that racism and authoritarianism to full effect and out in the open will not be backed by a majority in the US. Sunlight IS the best disinfectant. Most Americans are less truly bigoted than they are easily misled. Without the cover of the hypocrisy and rhetorical dog-whistles, the “worst instincts” don’t go over as well.

  28. Matt says:

    @Kathy: Steam has a whole lot of downsides. IT weights more it takes up a lot more space (extensive amount of mechanical, pneumatic, and hydraulic systems) and requires a lot more maintenance than the electromagnetic launch system. Steam takes longer to “recharge” and uses up more energy overall (EMALS is far more energy efficient). The steam blow-by decreases vision on the deck and in cold regions the water vapor can cause hazards.

    The EMALS (ElectroMagnetic Aircraft Launch System) has far more precise control over the launch parameters. That allows it to be capable of launching a FAR wider spectrum of craft than steam can.

    There will be teething but that happens with every system especially the steam catapults.

    I call it WINDOS, which stands for Windows 8 Is Not a Desktop Operating System

    Windows 8 is an excellent desktop OS. It was a step up from win 7 with it’s memory management and other performance related features. If you didn’t like the tablet inspired UI there was an option to have the OS boot to desktop instead. Between people not realizing they could click a box and get boot to desktop like win7 and the lack of the conventional start button people kind of lost there heads… The start button was added back in later but it was too late by then. Much like vista and it’s teething problems. Vista became a damned fine OS after the initial set of fixes were applied.

  29. al Ameda says:

    I’ve finally figured out who Trump reminds me of: Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito in ‘Goodfellas’. Pesci played a low-level mob runner/enforcer who was hot-tempered and impulsive.

  30. Kathy says:

    @Matt:

    Steam has a whole lot of downsides.

    I don’t doubt it. I’ve very superficial understanding of steam catapults, from reading Stephen Coonts’ book “The Intruders” some years ago. Coonts was a naval aviator.

    But I don’t know much about the new EM system, not how it compares to the old steam one.

    Windows 8 is an excellent desktop OS.

    I installed a preview build of Windows 8.1 on a laptop, and it was the most awful interface I’ve used since Win 3.11. Do you know how many time I got the “charms bar” when I tried to close a window? It was a mess. And who the hell wants touch on the desktop? the screen is well past arm’s reach.

    The start button was added back in later but it was too late by then.

    I cannot stress this enough, so I’ll apologize for the language: Fuck the Start button. What I need is the Start menu. I use it constantly. To be fair, the one in Windows 10 is an improvement over the Win95 through 7.

    And don’t get me started about the “modern” apps, and how they couldn’t run on the desktop. And if you needed one to get data for desktop work, you were screwed. First, getting the app switcher to work when using a mouse was a hit and miss affair, and then the whole desktop showed up as one app, regardless of how many programs you had open on desktop. So it increased the work load merely to switch between programs.

    The whole “modern” environment was cluster f**k. I don’t think I even used it much.

    In order to use window 8.1, I had to run the Start8 and Modern Mix shells from Stardock, which turned the interface back to Win7. The Win10 upgrade simply couldn’t have gotten in soon enough.

    I did my fair bit of agitation against Win8 from the moment I first tried it at a store display, until Win10 was announced. I don’t care what’s under the hood if I the car can’t be driven.

  31. Jax says:

    @Matt: (Giggling) off track from the thread, but Windows 8 was a dirty trick for Microsoft to play on the older generations who had JUST gotten used to basic computer usage. I have a little local computer repair business and teach classes at the Senior Center in the winter, I have never seen so many grandma’s ready to cry because the new computer the grandkids got them to Skype was a Windows 8 and they just COULD NOT make the jump. I found some workarounds (Classic Start, brings the start button back and makes the Start menu look familiar), but it was pretty frustrating for a while!

  32. Hal_10000 says:

    If there are no Republican judges the Federalist Society has wasted an awful lot of money.

    So if there are Republican judges and Democratic judges, as the commentary above seems to think, why do they frequently cross lines? Why are most SCOTUS decisions unanimous are nearly so? Why do “Republican judges” — who are supposedly up there just to screw over everyone — frequently vote to … oh, I don’t know … legalize gay marriage, defend PPACA, uphold abortion rights, strike down executive orders, etc. etc. etc. Judges have frequently voted against the party that appointed them. Just the the other day, Gorsuch joined Sotomayor in criticizing the Court for not taking up a case to allow cross-examination of forensic experts. And on SCOTUS Republican judges have been more likely to cross those lines than Democratic ones.

    Oh, but I forget. The Democrat/liberal view of the world is *right*. Any other opinion is diseased. So if a conservative occasionally votes with the liberal, that’s just him seeing the light. If he sticks to his guns, it’s because he’s twisted and evil. And if a liberal judges votes conservative, that would be dementia setting in. Clearly.

    Now, there are certainly philosophical leanings: judges who think in a way that conservative like and those that think in a way that liberals like. This is what the Federalist society and other orgs (including liberal ones) are doing: trying to get judges with their philosophy on the bench. But it’s not a conspiracy. And Roberts is right. In the end, judges follow their philosophy. They just sometimes disagree.

    1
    8
  33. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    For the record, I got started with a TRS80 Color Computer (with 4 effing K RAM!!), then I moved on to an Apple ][e, then to a DOS PC, and by the mid-90s to Windows 3.1, and then Win95-98-XP-Vista-7-10, so it’s not as though I haven’t had to change operating systems now and then.

    It’s not that I couldn’t use Win8, but that it was far more work to sue it as compared to any of its predecessors since Win95 for no gain in return. At that, I’d have given the “modern” interface a try, had it possessed such advanced features as a task bar and a means to organize apps and files in folders.

    Look, the bottom line is very simple: on a tablet or phone, you have limited screen space and want to use as much of it as you can for apps rather than OS features and commands. I get that. On a desktop you have a humongous screen, so having menus, task bars, a clock, and other features of the OS is common sense, as they don’t get in the way.

    Then, too, on phones and tablets you want to use touch rather than buttons for the same reason, small screen. On a desktop or laptop, you have a keyboard and mouse that don’t use up even one pixel of screen space. Why do you need or want touch?

    Win8 joins the Ford Edsel and New Coke as top failures from long-established companies who should have known better.

  34. Nicole says:

    I welcome Roberts’ comments here. Buuuuut….. the idea that there are Trump and Obama and Bush judges is already getting to be the common view, no? I think the real test will come when the Trump administration’s abuses of power come before the Supreme court — say, an eventual Mueller firing. I harbor an optimistic hope that Roberts and maybe some of the other conservative judges will stand up for the rule of law in that situation. If they don’t, then I fear that Roberts doth protest too much.

  35. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Nicole: Coming to a theater Supreme Court Building near you: Mississippi’s new (and recently enjoined) abortion law. Don’t miss it!

  36. DrDaveT says:

    @Joe:

    People look with baited breath to see

    (Apologies in advance… this is a pet peeve.)

    bate (verb)
    c. 1300, “to alleviate, allay;” mid-14c., “suppress, do away with;” late 14c., “to reduce; to cease,” a shortening of abate (q.v.). Now only in phrase bated breath (subdued or shortened breathing, from fear, passion, awe, etc.), which was used by Shakespeare in “The Merchant of Venice” (1596).

    It’s bated breath. “Baited breath” is what you get when you eat sardines.

    5
    2
  37. Jax says:

    @Kathy: I went thru the same “growing up” with operating systems as you, and still hated Windows 8 when it came out. That first time I had a glass of wine and it went from desktop mode to the stupid tablet mode….”grouchy” is an understatement.

    Microsoft would’ve done well to hold off on tablet mode until Apple came out with iPads that hit mainstream use. They were slightly ahead of what people were “ready” for.

  38. Eric Florack says:

    If that’s Roberts claims judges are a political, wouldn’t all confirmation votes be unanimous?

    Where was Robert’s on this business when Obama used his bully pulpit at the State of the Union to go after Justice Alito? Where has Roberts been wild Ruth buzzi has be we need grotesquely political?

    If, as Roberts claims, judges and her a political, why would we have seen the spectacle of Democrats wearing their diapers every time somebody other than a Democrat nominates the Supreme Court Justice? What was the long string of attacks against Clarence Thomas Robert Bork Brett Kavanaugh Samuel alito etc but overtly political?

    11
  39. Tyrell says:

    If Judge Roberts is going to come out and talk I wish that he would explain his infamous health insurance decision.

  40. Joe says:

    @DrDaveT:

    You are absolutely correct. That was a typo. I know its the same bate that is used with a bated sword (which has the tip covered or blunted).

  41. Kathy says:

    @Jax:

    Microsoft would’ve done well to hold off on tablet mode until Apple came out with iPads that hit mainstream use.

    If memory serves, the iPad came out in 2010, and Win8 in 2012, though ti began development much earlier.

    I first got a tablet in 2013, a Nexus 7 2012 model. And a smart phone later that year (I was dependent on what phone the company gets me). I don’t know how typical that is, or whether I was a late adopter.

    More than not being ready for it, Win8 simply is not a desktop system. More so given what Microsoft’s plans were, which included moving all new app development to “modern.” It limited the desktop, or laptop, to what a tablet could do. No more than four windows open at a time, no OS features or commands, gestures instead of point and click, no task bar, etc. That’s like building a car with a V-12 turbocharged engine, and limiting it to 35 mph.

    Ironically at the time MS also launched the Surface tablet. In what has to be the dumbest move of all time until Dennison was elected, the Office suite was available for the tablet, but could only run in desktop mode. That’s the basic Win8 error in reverse. Not only that, but they launched touch-friendly Office apps for iOS and Android before they did for Win8.

    It’s amazing how angry I still get, even though the late, unlamented Win8 has been dead for years.

  42. Teve says:

    On an aircraft carrier the reactor produces steam and electricity. Both can be used to power ship’s systems. It makes about the same sense to use steam catapults than electromagnetic ones, from an available energy point of view. I assume the newer electromagnetic systems offer advantages, but I can’t say for sure (if you doubt that people will invest real money in novelty for its own sake, look at the wreck called Windows 8*).

    The high heat capacity of steam is still super useful. I think the rail gun approach will in the end be simpler. Those steam tracks they use to launch planes have mechanical issues and kludges which are annoying.

  43. Teve says:

    And who the hell wants touch on the desktop? the screen is well past arm’s reach.

    touch screen on a desktop/laptop is just a fail. For numerous reasons.

  44. mattbernius says:

    Thanks for providing me the opportunity to look back on the SOTU exchange @Eric Florack:

    Where was Robert’s on this business when Obama used his bully pulpit at the State of the Union to go after Justice Alito?

    Hmmm, it seems to me you have your facts a little mixed up Eric. You might want to revisit James’ post on the topic form 2010:

    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/alito_not_true/

    Obama never attacked Alito. He did use the SoTU to offer the following critique of the Citizens United Decision:

    Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and that’s why I’m urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong.

    Source: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/State_of_the_Union/state-of-the-union-2010-president-obama-speech-transcript/story?id=9678572

    Alito’s role in this, just to jog your memory, was to silently voice “not true” in response to Obama’s comment. Obama, to my knowledge never publicly said anything against Alito.

    As it turns out, Roberts did critique Obama. Since you apparently missed it, let me share what Roberts said:

    “Anybody can criticize the Supreme Court. . . . I have no problem with that,” he said. He objected to criticism in such a public setting, where the justices had no choice but to sit silently.
    […] The image of having the members of one branch of government standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering while the court — according to the requirements of protocol — has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling,”

    source: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/10/nation/la-na-roberts-speech10-2010mar10

    It’s also worth noting the rather larger content differences between Obama’s (incorrect) critique of one decision and Trump’s ongoing attacks on the Federal Bench in general. So the difference in Roberts response, might have a little to do with that critical bit of nuance (something that @Resistance Ron seems to gloss over as well… but you know, devils in details).

  45. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    touch screen on a desktop/laptop is just a fail. For numerous reasons.

    Well, to be fair, desktop monitors used as interactive public displays, as in mall directories for example, can benefit from touch. But that’s a special application. In an office, or at home, touch simply isn’t necessary. Yet many of the early Win8 apologists bothered to claim that “of course, not many PCs currently have touch screens; users would feel differently when they do.”

    For the record, I managed to snag a Win7 (now Win10) all in one PC well into the Win8 era. I got it cheap (still works very well). And it has a touch screen.

    I’ve used that feature exactly zero times. If anything, it gets in the way when I want to flick a stray dust mote off the screen. But I’ve never thought “gee, it would be great if I could hunch over to the screen and touch it instead of using the mouse or keyboard right here within easy reach of my hands.”

  46. Kathy says:

    @mattbernius:

    You misunderstand the whataboutism calculus. In this case it’s like this:

    Because Obama didn’t treat the Supreme Court with 100% perfect respect and deference, El Cheeto can beat the whole judiciary to a bloody pulp.

    Do you disagree? But whatabout Obama!!!!!

  47. Mikey says:

    @mattbernius:

    Obama’s (incorrect) critique of one decision

    You misspelled “entirely accurate prediction.”

  48. Another interested outsider... says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: And the best words! Well, he is a stable genius after all!

  49. JohnMcC says:

    @Teve: Just to continue the steam catapult thread, this is not a new ‘thing’ for our Commander in Chief. Mr Google came up with a May of ’17 article in The Atlantic with the arresting headline: Trump wants ‘Goddam Steam’ instead of digital catapults on aircraft carriers’. The lead paragraph is priceless: “Navy officials were ‘blindsided’ on Thursday, a spokesman told me, by President Donald Trumps suggestion that he has convinced the Navy to abandon a long-planned digital launching system in favor of steam….”

  50. MattBernius says:

    @Mikey:
    I should have been more specific, the “incorrect” part hung on the foreign corporation claim.

    At this point that had still yet to be proven. This is not to say it won’t be, but that section was the shakiest part of that article.

    That said he was entirely correct about the floodgate part.

  51. wr says:

    @Kathy: Umm, Windows 8 was released six years ago. It was replaced by Windows 10 three years ago. It seems strange to be getting so angry over something that essentially has no further role in the world. It’s like getting mad because the clicker for your Trinitron only changes the channels in one direction.

  52. Teve says:

    @wr: Many of us computer geeks take OSes seriously, even personally. 😛

  53. Matt says:

    @Kathy: I had to use google to look up charms bar because I had no idea what you were talking about. I disabled that and the various touchpad gesture crap because it was annoying. Most of my experience with windows 8 was limited to a laptop I had purchased. My desktop install ran just like windows 7 and 10.

    If you had problems with the interface then a simple setting change or two would of fixed it.

    And don’t get me started about the “modern” apps, and how they couldn’t run on the desktop. And if you needed one to get data for desktop work, you were screwed. First, getting the app switcher to work when using a mouse was a hit and miss affair, and then the whole desktop showed up as one app, regardless of how many programs you had open on desktop. So it increased the work load merely to switch between programs.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about because I never used the new app crap. I stuck to the usual programs and never experienced any of that crap as a result. My windows 8 installs worked just like windows 7 and 10.

    In order to use window 8.1, I had to run the Start8 and Modern Mix shells from Stardock, which turned the interface back to Win7. The Win10 upgrade simply couldn’t have gotten in soon enough.

    I don’t know what “Modern Mix shells from Stardock” was or is because I didn’t need it for windows 8 to run like windows 7/10. I did do start8 prior to patch that put in the start button. I then stopped using start8 because I found the stock start to be hella useful.

    It’s not that I couldn’t use Win8, but that it was far more work to sue it as compared to any of its predecessors since Win95 for no gain in return. At that, I’d have given the “modern” interface a try, had it possessed such advanced features as a task bar and a means to organize apps and files in folders.

    Look, the bottom line is very simple: on a tablet or phone, you have limited screen space and want to use as much of it as you can for apps rather than OS features and commands. I get that. On a desktop you have a humongous screen, so having menus, task bars, a clock, and other features of the OS is common sense, as they don’t get in the way.

    Then, too, on phones and tablets you want to use touch rather than buttons for the same reason, small screen. On a desktop or laptop, you have a keyboard and mouse that don’t use up even one pixel of screen space. Why do you need or want touch?

    Win8 joins the Ford Edsel and New Coke as top failures from long-established companies who should have known better.

    You’re way overstating the effort required to get windows 8 to run like 7/10. You just had to change 4 or so settings. I put more effort into turning windows 10 spyware/cortana crap off than I did in getting windows 8 to run like 7.

    @Teve: I kind of take it personally when I see people hating on windows 8 because they were too lazy to change a few settings.

    The OS was excellent and the best bits are still there in windows 10. I actually liked the shit out of the start button and how easy it was to search for programs since my work/school laptop had a ton of stuff on it for classes and work.

    Vista totally deserved the hatred it gets. It was a mess at the start and stayed a mess for far too long. Vista after it was properly fixed was a pretty damned fine OS. Several of the stuff they tested in Vista made it into win7 and they look/feel very similar.